Séamus Ludlow: Family of murder victim seeks inquiry

Family highlights speculation man killed by British army or loyalist paramilitaries

Members of the family of Seamus Ludlow (left to right): Kevin Ludlow (brother), Eileen Fox (sister), Nan Sharkey (sister), Michael Donghan (nephew), solicitor James Mac Guill and Michael Sharkey (nephew) in Dublin in 2006 as part of campaigning to discover what happened to their relative. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Members of the family of Seamus Ludlow (left to right): Kevin Ludlow (brother), Eileen Fox (sister), Nan Sharkey (sister), Michael Donghan (nephew), solicitor James Mac Guill and Michael Sharkey (nephew) in Dublin in 2006 as part of campaigning to discover what happened to their relative. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

The family of murdered Co Louth man Séamus Ludlow have launched a legal action in the High Court aimed at compelling the State to establish a commission of investigation into his death.

Séamus Ludlow (47) was found shot dead on May 1st, 1976 in a lane near his home at Culfore, Dundalk, Co Louth.

Mr Ludlow, who worked as a forester, had no paramilitary connections. No one has ever been charged in connection with his death.

The family, who have campaigned for years to have the murder investigated, say there has always been speculation he was killed by either the British army or loyalist paramilitaries.

It is claimed gardaí failed to follow up on an important line of inquiry - that Mr Ludlow was the victim of either loyalists or the British forces who mistook him for a senior member of the IRA.

Mr Ludlow’s family claim the Garda investigation into the murder was suspended after just three weeks.

They also claim that, shortly after his murder, family members were wrongly told he had been killed by the IRA for informing and they, the family, had known about the planned killing beforehand.

The IRA denied any involvement in the killing.

Investigation

In their proceedings against the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General, the family want various orders and declarations, including compelling the establishment of commissions of investigation into Mr Ludlow’s murder.

The family contend the State must establish commissions that comply with the respondents’ obligations and the family’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Any failure to establish the commission is unlawful, it is argued.

When seeking leave to bring the proceedings on Monday, Ronan Lavery QC, for the family, said they have always had a legitimate expectation that the commission would be established.

Counsel said his clients want an early hearing of the case as there may be a change of government in the coming weeks and because several members of the family are elderly.

Permission to bring the action was granted on an ex parte basis (one side only represented).